Friday, May 9, 2008

An early mother's day post

(no, I'm not pregnant!)
Kim O'Donnel requested stories about your mom for her cooking blog, but mine did not get picked to be published. I thought I'll copy and paste it here instead.

One of my fondest childhood memories involving my mom and cooking is the Russian potato salad. The salad was a staple at every birthday and holiday celebration. I remember my mom boiling and then cutting potatoes, carrots, eggs, and adding in canned peas, mayonnaise, granny smith apples and pickles. This combination might sound odd, but the amount of labor you put into the salad really pays off: and the leftovers are to die for! At first, my twin sister, Anna, and I simply observed the process. However, as we got older, my mom would give each one of us a task to perform. This was a perfect opportunity to learn how to boil things, how to cut everything in uniform cubes and how not to overmix ingredients (to prevent the salad turning into mush). Years later, Anna and I took over the salad making duties. I'm sure that when we'll have our own families (fingers crossed), we'll pass the tradition of making this potato salad and spending time together to our loved ones.

Another food item that always makes me think of my mom is her apple cake. It's a super simple recipe (and she in fact can recite it from her memory) containing flour, oil, eggs, sugar, sourcream, vinegar and of course apples. I remember eating the cake quite often when I was growing up, and ever since I moved out of the house I made it multiple times for my friends, who all liked it. The beauty of the cake, and something that my mom taught me, is how you can use your creativity and imagination to make the cake different every time you bake it. With an addition of cranberries, orange zest, and or nuts, you get a completely new result! I really think that these childhood memories I have of my mom and her teaching me how to cook and bake have instilled in me the love and appreciation for food. (oh, and just so that my dad is not left out completely, he makes the best borscht!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You made me cry! Now you and Anna are great cooks, and I am proud of you. Good luck with everything. Kisses, mama.